AFSC releases Customer Engagement Guide

  • Published
  • By Grady Epperly
  • Air Force Sustainment Center

The Small Business Office is demystifying the process of doing business with the Air Force Sustainment Center with a new Customer Engagement Guide intended to facilitate clear and transparent communication to industry, academia and other mission partners.

“Interacting with an enterprise as large as AFSC can be a daunting task and that’s why we are committed to providing a clear standard," said Ronnie Hobbs, director of Small Business for AFSC. “Vendor communications are key to an open dialogue between industry, acquisition personnel, and requirement offices.”

The mission of the AFSC is to forge readiness and accelerate innovation for America’s warfighters. For that to happen, AFSC needs to build meaningful relationships with not only large aerospace and defense industry leaders, but with small and medium sized businesses who also play a pivotal role in providing timely logistical support to our armed forces.

In fiscal 2022, small businesses accounted for 23% of acquisition spend conducted with the Department of Defense. The DOD spent $85.2 billion on small business prime contracts last fiscal year. In 2023, the Air Force Materiel Command awarded $3.49 billion to Small Disadvantaged Businesses, and 239 Phase III Small Business Innovation Research contracts valued at $1.3 billion.

The AFSC Small Business Office alone provided support for more than $15 billion in contracts for not just the AFSC but also the Air Force Lifecycle Management Center and the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center in fiscal year 2023.

“Our office is very much customer service orientated with our demand signal originating not only from the internal needs of the Air Force but also from the Defense Industrial Base through us and ultimately providing capability to the Air Force,” Hobbs explained. “This frequent, meaningful interchange ensures the effective connection of industry capabilities to AFSC requirements.”

Small businesses are a major driver of the U.S. economy, delivering two-thirds of net new jobs, employing nearly half of the private sector workforce, and producing over 40 percent of the nation’s economic output, according to the Small Business Administration.

“The new guide lays out goals, key objectives, and resources for necessary steps to do business with AFSC. This will be a living document and is intended to be a first step in creating a repeatable, consistent process for engaging our stakeholders,” said Hobbs. “Within the guide, industry, academia, and program offices have the ability to provide direct feedback to make future improvements. We value this feedback and look forward to continued alignment in delivering war winning capabilities to the warfighter.

The Customer Engagement Guide can be found here.